Drug stocks have turned around UK stockmarket activity this morning, rather than hamper it, as optim...
Drug stocks have turned around UK stockmarket activity this morning, rather than hamper it, as optimism is growing the worst of the share slump is now over.
The FTSE 100 Index added 4.1 points to 4656.5 after declining by 1% the two previous days. The index would have fallen five points without gains by GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca.
GlaxoSmithKline saw its share price leap 33p or 2.4% to £14.15, after previously falling 14%, while AstraZeneca added 10p to £27.80.
Not all was good news, however. Reuters slipped 17.5p, or 4.3%, to 386p after announcing the financial information provider said the reduction will cost about £100m and save £100m annually. The news firm already announced in October that it would cut 1,800 jobs, or 9.3% of its workforce, to trim costs.
Dee Valley Group, the UK water company which focuses on the northwest of England, gained 10p, or 3%, to 347.5p. Company officials announced Dee will return as much as £32m to shareholders after the company boosted full-year profit by focusing on its water business. Net income rose to £2.2m in the year ended March 31, from £1.7m the previous year.
Marconi plunged another 1.2p, or 21%, to 4.5p this morning as talks for the struggling technology firm with lenders will probably lead to a swap of a ``significant'' part of its £4.3bn debt for its stock and substantial dilution of its value as a result.
In the US, technology stocks are dragging performance down again as the stockmarkets fell by close of play.
Advanced Micro Devices and Apple Computer both said profits will fall short of forecasts, while further violence in the Middle East upset trading.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 17.15 points or 1.7%, to 1019.99, led by Intel and Microsoft, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 144.55 points, or 1.5%, to 9561.57 and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 46.13 points, or 3%, to 1496.83.
The slide has prompted mainly by a retreat by international investors. Fund managers worldwide have less money invested in U.S. stocks than at any time since February 2000 because of concern earnings growth is slowing, according to a Merrill Lynch & Co. survey. The dollar weakened to a 17-month low against the euro, making matters worse.
Advanced Micro dropped $1.60, or 16%, to $8.70 while Intel lost $1.93 to $20.09, and Micron Technology, the world's second-biggest maker of RAM chips, slumped $3.52 to $20.08.
To promote 'long-term investment'
Switching 'hard and expensive'
Smaller funds still packing a punch
To drive progress